Chelsea are reportedly plotting a move for Tottenham Hotspur wing-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
The Blues are in the hunt for an experienced left-back to replace Ashley Cole, who is expected to leave the club when his current contract runs out at the end of the season. According to the Daily Mirror, the west London outfit are now keen on the Cameroon international.
Assou-Ekotto made close to 40 appearances in all competitions for Spurs last season but has been sidelined so far this year by a knee injury. The report also claims that Chelsea plan to make an initial offer of £5m for the 28-year-old, who arrived at White Hart Lane from Ligue 1 outfit Lens for around £3.5m in 2006.
The report also claims that the Blues remain keen on Southampton teenager Luke Shaw. Chelsea do have Ryan Bertrand, who can operate at left-back but the reigning European champions are understood to be unsure about the 23-year-old's defensive capabilities and view him more as a long-term winger than defender.
Benitez: Torres' Form Proves my Impact
Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez has insisted that Fernando Torres' good run of form proves that his methods are working at Chelsea.
The striker's performances have improved greatly since the former Liverpool boss took charge at Stamford Bridge as interim manager, and Torres has now scored six goals in his last five matches. Benitez has stated that his methods have brought out the best in most of the Blues' players, especially Torres.
"Two or three things that we are doing for some players are really good. Fernando is one of the examples. He's scoring goals and the team is winning and playing well, so he's really happy, not just because he's scoring goals but also because the team's doing well," the Spaniard told Sky Sports.
"I think that the team has an influence on him because the team is doing well, so the team is playing better, creating more chances. So Fernando is taking more chances," Benitez added.
Torres, who managed just 12 goals from 67 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea in the last two seasons, has already netted 13 times from 28 appearances for the club this term.